By: Anna Katrina J. Bolivar
Let’s celebrate, fellow mothers! There is hope! The 100-day maternity leave bill has recently been approved on its 2nd reading. This bill, when enacted to law, would apply to all female workers in both the public and private sectors.
On August 28, House Bill (HB) 4113 was approved by the House of Representatives on its second reading. Under the current law, female workers are allowed a 60-day paid leave for normal childbirth and 78 days for caesarian delivery. In the new house bill, the number of days within the paid maternity leave will be increased to 100 days.
Furthermore, under HB 4113, there is an option to extend for an additional 30 days of leave without pay. To avail of the additional 30-day leave without pay, the worker should inform her employer through a written document 45 days before the end of her maternity leave.
We can recall that in 2017 (March 6), the Senate Bill (SB) 1305 was approved on its third and final reading. The bill intends to allow for 120 days of paid maternity leave and an optional additional 30-day leave without pay. The HB 4113, on the other hand, needs to get approval from the lower chamber on its third and final approval before it gets discussed in a bicameral conference committee.
Once the reconciled versions of HB 4113 and SB 1305 have been approved by the joint panel, the chambers would ratify it. And as the last process, the proposed bill will be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte and will finally be enacted into law.
Let’s hope that the bills get the approval in the succeeding readings and discussions. When the law gets enacted, a lot of babies would surely benefit from a longer time spent with their mothers. Mothers would have more time making sure that their babies are well nurtured and they would also have ample time to prepare their baby and themselves before going back to the workforce.
Anna Katrina Bolivar is a first-time mom to a baby girl. She’s a stay-at-home, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and cosleeping mom. She has her own blog. Despite all the challenges of a stay-at-home mom, she always goes to sleep with a heart that is overflowing with love for the Lord, her husband, and their precious little girl.